Should reviews shy away from a numerical score?

Review scores have, and continue to be, a highly controversial and debated topic among the gaming community. You've all seen the backlash over a low score, with communities accusing reviewers of being a hater after giving a "poor" score of a 6.5. Much of the problem with review scores is that they don't actually communicate anything in particular; it is an arbitrary number that falls on a scale, which differs from publication to publication. A 5/10 at one publication may be a neutral stance - not good, not bad. A 5/10 at another publication might mean a failing grade.

So, why is it that publications have stuck to numbers, when it is just as easy to have a scale of words, which communicate so much more? Would it not be more beneficial to readers to have a scale that literally says whether a game is Recommended or Not Recommended? A Must Buy or a Must Avoid? It doesn't have to be binary, either. You can have a lengthier scale of Bad, Poor, Neutral, Good, Great. Many times you'll hear a reviewer countering a comment like, "X game is really good, so why did you only give it a 7?" with, "A 7 is good." So, why not just say the game is good?Why create a number that is supposed to represent "good," instead of just saying "good?"

Why are we still using this method of judgment when it is so obviously ineffective at communicating a reviewer's thoughts?

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